I Am So Brilliant!

July 30, 2006 @ 7:56 pm | Filed under: Family Adventures

Which is why I have such good ideas. Such as my decision to take all the kids out for lunch during our open house today. A big fancy lunch. At (drumroll) McDonalds! (You are dazzled, are you not, by my originality.)

I live (for now) in a town so small (for now) it doesn’t have a McDonalds. You can drive twenty-some minutes one way or twenty-some minutes in the other direction to find the golden arches. But that was part of my Brilliant Plan. The open house coincided with Wonderboy’s naptime, so I figured I’d let him sleep in the car, we’d go through the drive-through, and he and the baby would both wind up with decent naps while the rest of chipped away at our good health with tasty fries.

And how beautifully the plan unfolded, at first. The boy fell asleep right away, the baby snoozed, and the girls and I sang bad camp songs. Before we knew it, there we were at french fry heaven. Except. There was a sign on the drive-through menu informing us that due to a busted water line, McDonalds had no water.

"Sorry, no soft drinks or coffee," the hand-scrawled message announced.

The kids aren’t allowed soda, and I don’t drink coffee, but still. There was no way I was going to buy food at a place where, hello, the employees couldn’t wash their hands.

Hey, look! Next door: Burger King. But the busted water line? It affected, apparently, the whole block. Burger King had a similar sign.

"Our water is out. No drinks! All food items still available."

Thanks, but no thanks. "Wendy’s?" I suggested. The girls agreed. We drove on, leaving the waterless block behind. Of course there was a Wendy’s not far away, because this is America. It was on the wrong side of the street, though, and in the midst of the maneuvering I had to do to get into the correct lane, Wonderboy awoke from his slumber. And, for no apparent reason, threw up. A lot. All over.

The girls were screaming, retching, holding their noses. Poor Wonderboy was shrieking at the top of his lungs, and who could blame him? That is one lousy way to wake up.

I turned down a side street and pulled into a deserted parking lot. The girls scrambled out onto the baking asphalt. Wonderboy continued to scream. I reached for the basket of spare wipes—and remembered I’d tucked those into Scott’s car just before he left for California. You know, in case he spilled something on the trip.

Hadn’t yet occurred to me to replace them.

There was a burp cloth in the diaper bag. I managed to get Wonderboy’s carseat unbuckled and stripped off his nasty clothing, then mopped him off as best I could. Which wasn’t very well. Mostly I just moved the sick from his body to mine. Because all he wanted was to hug me. Jane used to want the same thing, when chemo was making her throw up all the time. I’m pretty sure it’s a toddler instinct: I will feel much better the second you allow me to smear my vomit in your hair. You are awesome, Mommy. Mind if I throw up just a little more? There was a clean spot on your shirt.

By now, of course, the baby was awake. And unhappy. The girls were melting all over the parking lot, but they were none too eager to get back into the van. Also, they were all starving. Because of course we were now waaaay past lunchtime. And yet, somehow, no one felt much like eating. Go figure.

I got my poor little boy back into his still-pretty-icky-but-only-in-a-soaked-in-way seat and we made our pathetic way back home. "A day will come," I promised my girls, "when we’ll look back on this and laugh our heads off."

Rose was skeptical. "Why would we?"

"Because it will seem funny. I mean, it really IS funny, when you think about it. It just doesn’t FEEL funny now."

"It sure smells funny," said Bean.

"Why is it funny?" persisted Rose.

"I’ll have to explain it later," I said, finding it impossible to expound and hold my breath at the same time.

"I really really have to go to the bathroom," announced Beanie. "REALLY."

I really really want to be nursed, sobbed the baby.

I really really want you to turn back time and make this not have happened, moaned the boy.

I really really want a good shampoo,
crackled my hair.

Nope, not quite funny yet. Okay, maybe a little.


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Comments

24 Responses | | Comments Feed

  1. Oh, poor Wonderboy! I’m so sorry this happened. It is sort of funny in the nothing-like-this-ever-happens-when-dh-is-home way. Did you all finally get lunch? I hope that at least the open house went well.

  2. You poor woman! I am sorry your day turned out that way. Now you have to wash the carseat too which is no small task, undoing all those buckles and straps to launder it. I feel for you Lissa. Really I do!

  3. Oh Lissa, I know just how you feel. My daughter 16 was in a play this weekend, took all the kids to see it, sat in the middle of the isle and daughter 6 began to throw up 1/4 of the way through the show.
    I had everyone jumping that for sure.
    Hope he feels better.
    God Bless you.

  4. I am so sorry – what an awful afternoon!

  5. Ohhhhh, you should have called me–that is, if you drove east. If you were west I couldn’t do much, but I am only a half-mile from the Wendy’s to the east. 🙁

    Poor Wonderboy. Poor Mama. What a day.

  6. I don’t know Lissa, I grew up with parents who through us inthe back of the car for long family trips every summer. And every summer my carsick self managed to throw up on my brother.

    He’s nearly forty now and still not laughing…..

    I hope Wonderboy is feeling better.

  7. Oh, what a yucky afternoon! I’m so sorry. The biggest consolation would be an offer on your house, which would make it all worthwhile *and* allow you to laugh sooner….

  8. Oh, man! What a day!

  9. It’s pretty funny on this end. Some days are like that, even in Australia. That’s one of my favorite things about blogging: you can take your most trying moments, write them up for the amusement of others, and somehow, when it’s all done, you don’t feel so bad about it yourself. Blog therapy.

  10. I am sorry. But, I am laughing. Because it wasn’t me 🙂 But, it could have been, and THAT wouldn’t have been funny. Yet.

  11. Oh dear. I’m so sorry. I really, really hope today is better!

  12. My mom had a theory — that kind of day *only* happens when daddy is gone. My dad, who was a Marine, was gone often, often for months or the odd year or two. We do laugh about *most* of those days now… :o)

  13. Oh it’s funny here. You’ll have to see if the kiddos think it’s funny next week.

  14. Thanks for the laugh. I promise you will have a good laugh too in the not too distant future. 🙂 (sounds like I opened a Chinese fortune cookie)

    You know how vacations are. If something doesn’t go wrong it’s just not as memorable.

    Hope your week goes better.

  15. My favorite part was when the girls couldn’t understand how it would be funny someday and made you try to explain it. It seems my kids are always yelling their deepest, most philosophical questions FROM THE BACK OF THE VAN when I’m trying to cross a 4 lane highway and reach our exit in time!

  16. I am so sorry for you- I hope he is feeling better! We had a similiar experience a few months ago- we went to CT for my sister’s baby shower and my 2 year old threw up all over the hotel room at 2 AM-they had no paper towels. We left a pile of vomit covered towels in the room, packed the kids in the car, stopped at Target for wipes, garbage bags, etc and headed home-to Maine-without attending the shower! Still not laughing- we went to CT this weekend for same baby’s Baptism- PRAYED all the way- Thank GOD we made it there and back with no thrwoing up!

  17. Conveying sympathy through the tears of laughter! {{hugs}} Dani

  18. Oh, poor Melissa! Some days just don’t seem meant to happen. I hope the rest of your week goes much better.

  19. An intervention might be necessary

    Melissa’s hair is starting to talk to her. Hilariousness here galore, if by hilarious you mean a trip to a McDonald’s with no water and power-wretching in the back of the minivan….

  20. ((((((hugs))))))) to you all! And to think you were stuck out there until the open house was over! Hope it was just a little car sickness and not the flu! My kids are still young enough that I’m not laughing either…yet. Plus, after gallstones and hyperemesis during pgcy, I’ve done more throwing up than three ‘regular’ people and it’s really not funny. 🙁

  21. Awwww . . . poor baby! I sure can relate to this one . . . but still don’t recall laughing over it too much! I’ve enjoyed reading through this blog.

  22. It’s not funny, when it happens…but they will laugh about it…especially your precious rendition of it when they get older.
    YOU are funny.
    poor you.

    My older children howl about past misadventures.

    “”Remember that thanksgiving we were on our way to grandmas and grandpa’s and we alllll threw up at the same time on alligator alley?????””” ‘har har har”

    “Or how about that time we all got lice and the flu at the same time and mom was 9 months pregnant????” (yes…it did happen….) ‘yuck yuck yuck’;p

    french fries are bad for you anyway.
    love mary mi
    toc

  23. Funny in a “I’m glad it wasn’t me” sort of way.

    What an adventure, poor you!

  24. Tears of laughter from this mom who has been there. You always make my day.
    Hugs !!!